The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: (aviary) by Genevieve Kaplan

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Callista Buchen, is from (aviary) by Genevieve Kaplan, released by Velize Books in 2020. 

They are so lovely and they cannot get out

similarly, the light fades, thickens, and the moon
twice as big. if there are bars, if the key is lost
the sky is not affected. (this, a world where women
watch women, there are cages, creatures). as
a last night, final evening, or dusk in the mist
(of all fortune, rings shining there, dressed
improperly after all, in un-serious shoes) before
the park closes, we’re no longer welcome, I pretend
to pass along, to gather slowly, to walk the parking lot
toward my own, watching

similarly the bed creaks. the tree blossoms, the radishes
twice their size. a bare skill to begin: women
and their children, a rake and a hoe. loose rattlings
of the daylight, an afternoon in spades. the bird turns
on its own, the ground beneath is moving. subtle ways
the shade extends, the minimum of (a human being)
the smallest gesture of (nature) inverted in springtime
the wet rocks, the hose that goes on, the house butted up
to a buzzing garden. what shade of blue? which brown? how
to get outside enough to see myself looking in?

Genevieve Kaplan is the author of (aviary) (Veliz Books, 2020)In the ice house (Red Hen Press, 2011), and four chapbooks, most recently I exit the hallway and turn right (above/ground, 2020), an anti-ode to office work. Her recent poems can be found in PositPuerto Del Solethelcan we have our ball back?, and elsewhere. She lives in southern California where she edits the Toad Press International chapbook series, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose.

Callista Buchen is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, 2019), and the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, 2016). Her work appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, and many other journals. She is the winner of the DIAGRAM’s essay contest and the C.D Wright conference’s Emerging Writer award, and is the founder of the Carlson-Stauffer Reading Series at Franklin College. 


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